Bangsamoro Region

MILF armed forces condemn Kabacan ambush, seek NBI probe

By Masiding Noor Yahya

Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces Chief of staff, Abdulraof Macacua in a file photo.

The Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (BIAF-MNLF) has condemned the massacre of defenseless Muslims with the use of high powered weapons in Kabacan, Cotabato Province, even as they asked the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation of the tragic incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

BIAFF chief of staff Abdulraof Macacua, known for his nom de guerre as Sammy Gambar, said in a statement that the BIAF joined the Bangsamoro in mourning and condemning the massacre of defenseless Muslims using high powered firearms in broad daylight in a provincial road in Kabacan, Cotabato Province.

“This again reminds us of the dark period in our not so recent past, when the Bangsamoro people were besieged and beleaguered in their very own ancestral homeland, by forces who are privileged with impunity and assured of unbridled movement in the senseless and brutal murder of unarmed civilians, said Macacua who is also Executive Secretary and Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy of the Bangsamoro government.

Onlookers watch as police and authorities investigate the scene of the ambush of 8 motorcycle riders at Kabacan, Cotabato province. (FB)

8 Muslim riders ambushed

Police told the media that eight motorcycle riders were killed in an ambush by still unidentified suspects on board a white pickup truck in Barangay Aringay, Kabacan, at around 12:10 p.m., on Saturday.

Major Peter Pinalgan, Kabacan police chief, said the victims were on their way to the town center when at least five armed men fired bullets on them.

Based on the recovered spent bullets, Pinalgan said the suspects used high-powered long guns.

At least one of those ambushed survived the attack and was rushed to a local hospital for treatment.

Pinalgan said the wounded victim might give them clues as to the motive and the identities of the suspects.

He said they have yet to determine if the attack is linked to a deep-seated rido or clan feud in Barangay Aringay.

Pinalgan denied reports posted on social media that the police was behind the killing.

“The Philippine National Police was not behind the attack.  Kabacan PNP personnel just responded to the crime scene and conducted pursuit operations against the perpetrators,” he said.

Macacua hopes PNP can bring culprits to justice

Macacua said multiple murders at high noon in a provincial road intimate confidence that no one will stop and run after the perpetrators.

But he hoped the pursuit operation, if any, of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will yield some positive result that can contribute to the speedy and just resolution of these cases.

He said they supported the peace negotiation with the belief that those days and crimes committed against their people and communities are simply but bitter memories.

“BIAF has in fact committed to support the normalization process that will put our weapons beyond use, because of the belief that our people and communities will be ably protected and secured by our state forces,” he said, adding that BIAF is convincing their communities that with the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro they will be safe and peaceful.

BIAF will not tolerate re-emergence of hostilities

While they continue to abide by the peace process, Macacua said they will not tolerate the reemergence of violence and hostilities against unarmed Bangsamoro in their defenseless communities.

“We have assured our people and communities that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro will provide them peace, security and prosperity,” he emphasized. Muslimedia.PH

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